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Old 01-22-2013, 09:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Diabla's first search

Because of a long story I was in Santiago with both dogs when our team received a call to search a lost Argentinian man lost in the mountains of Cochiguaz, about 500 km from -Santiago in the north of Chile, after going to a walk that wasn't suppossed to take more than 2 hours.

We arrived Tuesday night, 3 canine teams, 3 back-up volunteers and a coordinator and supported the search efforts from Wednesday to Sunday, with the exception of Friday, when we gave the dogs a rest, specially because the volcanic terrain hurt even the toughest paws and took the day to move our camp closer to the search site.

The terrain was very abrupt and the places where the dogs teams had access and could actually work were limited, so we talked to the IC and the family and decided to return, even when the young man is still missing. Police and mountain teams are still looking on the cliffs and crevices with ropes, if the person decided to keep climbing beyond the original area and there is even a chance he actually returned to camp, but something happened after...

Some pictures


Checking paws


About 10,500 feet above sea.




My two girls. Auka, who I started training and left with the team when I moved, who keeps working with another handler and Diabla.


More pictures here: http://s47.photobucket.com/albums/f1...uaz/?start=all
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Last edited by Catu; 01-22-2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Way to go Catu and Diabla!!

That is some very nasty terraine you had to work in.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow - great job to everyone involved...
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That is some seriously rough terrain, wow!
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome! Diabla looks like a trooper climbing those rocks!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The first picture is quite impressive, but obviously we were not searching there, only salving the obstacle to be able to return to camp for a place safer than the ravine we searched up. Diabla is more concerned about where she puts her feet than about scenting anything there... as we did

Diabla worked very good, specially on the riverbanks, where the denser vegetation are more like the forest we are more used to work on. The first day her white nail (yes, pigmentation IS important) broke and after it she needed a boot to work more comfortable. We are both a bit stiff yet, but nothing than oversleeping doesn't fix
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow. My nose would have been bleeding. Do they have helo there with FLIR?
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nop, no helo, everything on foot for us. That is why we had to move the camp and headquarters up the second day. I know helos with FLIR overfled the mountain the first days and our team has a FLIR camera that was used by the land teams.

Unless the son a senator is missing it's very rare you'll get air support, and the reason I always insist that the dogs need to be trained to work not only from the car or crate to the search area, but even after hours of hiking.
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